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MAP: mark it, aim it, putt it

image1420948121.jpgToday is the first day of fall semester and I’m switching my major to steal-the-Kappa-back-from-Mommy. Pre-requisites include contracting out household chores, increasing responsibilities for kids & Cooking Light’s “Easy Weeknight Favorites.”

Wednesday is Beginning Golf 1 with an LPGA Class A instructor who handed us a textbook, encouraged us to take notes and assigned homework of mandatory practice time on the course.


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  • christine - Ray, it’s so interesting that you bring this up. Not surprising (as you are one of the most brilliant of commenters) but interesting because I was just learning this. Really learning.

    I think what surprises me the most about golf is how easily it can be absorbed via the lessons we’ve already learned.

    For example: as a novice photographer, I would often struggle with the basics of exposure. Meaning: I’d go out on a shoot, clients arrived and in front of me, expecting for me to produce, and I’d be nervously fiddling with f/stops and shutter speeds, frantic at that last minute to come up with any combination that even produced acceptable, let alone created the kind of image I was hoping to achieve. It wasn’t until much later, after a breakthrough workshop with Paul Elledge, in which he spoke two or three sentences to me that really struck my very core, that I saw the simplicity of the task: nail the technical stuff. Then put it aside, forget about it, and go to work.

    Seems golf follows the same format. Keeping one’s head down is another way to force us to watch the ball — but I think it goes deeper than that, goes a little Paul Elledge on us in that one shouldn’t even be looking at the target by the time one is hitting the ball; aim, then hit. If the ball is properly aimed before the hit is set-up (the equivalent to exposure determined), then there’s nothing left to determine of the destination; it’s all in the hit. Eye on the ball, club perpendicular to aim, let the club do the work.

    Or, put more simply, Golfers who change their aim after establishing their stance to swing are the equivalent of photographers who chimp in bright sunlight and adjust exposure based on their LCD display. Not ridiculously off, but off quite enough to separate the beginners from the pros.

    Of course, this is all very much easier said than done.

    I never overlook a book you have recommended; I’m not familiar with Golf in the Kingdom but fresh on the heels of finishing the last one you recommended, it’s certain to be a delightful read. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Ray - And so how goes the golfing? On my first day of Beginning Golf
    1 — many years ago — I learned that the three most important rules are as follows:

    1. Keep your head down.

    2. Keep your damn head down.

    3. Keep your g**damn head down.

    I actually found it to be pretty helpful instruction. But I haven’t played in over five years.

    Ever heard of strange little book of fiction(?) and philosophy called Golf in the Kingdom, by Michael Murphy? A bar customer once recommended it to me. He was a medical doctor of psychiatry, a graduate of the Stanford School of Medicine, and though he was not a golfer himself, he thought very highly of the book. Which made me curious enough to read it. It’s a little too mystical for my particular tastes, and yet I admit there’s something intriguing about it.ReplyCancel

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